Taipei Rapid Transit Corp yesterday urged people to avoid looking at their phones when walking, saying 73 cases of “distracted walking injuries” had occurred in the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system from January to August.
As the local COVID-19 situation has been brought under control, passenger traffic has been increasing, reaching about 1.5 million rides per day last month, the company said.
However, many passengers have been looking at their phones as they walk through MRT stations, which can lead to collisions with other passengers or injury from falling down stairs.
Photo: Tsai Ssu-pei, Taipei Times
A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations or inside trains from January to August, of which 73 (44 percent) were due to “distracted walking” and 25 (15 percent) were caused by other passengers, company data showed.
A poster featuring the character “Shiba Says” urging passengers to “pay attention while walking to avoid injury” has been posted in many stations and inside train carriages, the company said.
The company also uses electronic visual displays and public announcements inside MRT stations to remind people to avoid looking at their phones while walking to prevent injuries, it said.
Separately, the Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongzheng First Precinct said that while the number of traffic accidents in the city from January to this month dropped by 8,837 from the same period last year, many drivers are distracted.
People being unaware of the traffic in front of them has been the most common cause of traffic accidents in the past five years, it said.
One of the main reasons for this is distracted driving, such as drivers scrolling through social media on their phones when waiting for the green light, it said.
Vehicle and scooter drivers can be fined NT$3,000 for using a mobile phone, computer, or similar device to make calls, chat, send or receive data, or perform other operations that inhibit safe driving, the precinct said, citing the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例).
A total of 725 traffic tickets have been issued for the contravention from January to last month, it said, adding that people should keep their phones out of sight when driving.
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